WVU opens the 2014 football season this Saturday in the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Atlanta against No. 2 Alabama.
The Crimson Tide is favored by as much as 26 points.
Over 20,000 West Virginia fans are expected to attend the game in the Georgia Dome.
After winning back-to-back national titles, Alabama was knocked out of contention by arch rival Auburn in last year’s regular season finale. The Tide went on to fall to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl.
WVU is coming off its worst regular season in more than a decade.
The Mountaineers finished 4-8 last season, including setbacks to a Kansas team which hadn’t won a Big 12 game in years and blowing a big lead at home against Iowa State.
Clint Trickett will be the WVU quarterback. Alabama coach Nick Saban has been keeping his choice of signal caller close to the vest.
Marshall, rated in the top 25 in some pre-season polls, is expected to have its best season in years.
MU is No. 20 in the USA poll and is ranked No. 25 by Sports Illustrated.
The Herd has quarterback Rakeem Cato and a lot of other talent back from last year’s 10-4 squad.
MU reached the Conference USA championship game last season and beat Maryland in a bowl game.
The Herd opens the season at Miami, Ohio, at 3:30 p.m this Saturday.
John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.